mon 08/08/2022

race issues

Curious, Soho Theatre review - a young playwright puts herself centre-stage

Jasmine Lee-Jones has a hard act to follow – namely, herself. Her award-winning 2019 debut play, seven methods of killing kylie jenner, announced the arrival at the Royal Court of a blistering writing talent whose two sparring women made...

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Is God Is, Royal Court review – blister, flare and burn, baby, burn

God is a tricky one. Or should that be One? And definitely not a He. So when she says take revenge, then vengeance is definitely not only hers, but ours too. American playwright Aleshea Harris’s dazzlingly satirical 2018 extravaganza is about two...

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Shorta review - Danish police drama

This Danish police drama attempts to tackle the country’s uneasy relationship with the immigrants it’s allowed into its cities over the last 30 years. The result is a somewhat clumsy attempt at fusing social commentary with the visceral thrills of...

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Leopards, Rose Theatre, Kingston review - a no-thrill thriller about sex and power

Is it a thriller? Is it a character study? Leopards, Alys Metcalf’s two-hander about a middle-aged white charity executive – male – and a young job applicant of mixed race – female – goes under the colours of both, but falls short of either genre.A...

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Rockets and Blue Lights, National Theatre review - strong, but inconclusive

For more than three decades, playwright Winsome Pinnock has been at the forefront of new writing, often experimenting with form as well as documenting the lives of black Britons. Her new play’s original opening at the Royal Exchange Theatre in...

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Zola review - high-energy comic thriller tackles sex work

It’s hard to imagine a movie more of its time than Zola, as it takes on sex, race, the glamorisation of porn and the allure of the ever-online world. For 90 minutes we are embedded in the lives of two young American sex workers and it’s a wild ride...

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Limbo review - quiet but voluble

Displacement looms large over every quietly impressive frame of Limbo, writer-director Ben Sharrock's magnetic film about a young Syrian man called Omar (Amir El-Masry) who finds himself biding his time in the remotest reaches of Scotland on the way...

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Lava, Bush Theatre review - poetic writing, mesmerically performed

What’s in a name? In Benedict Lombe’s incendiary debut play at the Bush Theatre, the answer to this question encompasses a whole continent, an entire existential experience - the Black experience, to be exact - though not in the way that "roots...

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South Pacific, Chichester Festival Theatre review - gloriously revived and also refreshed

We’ve come to learn what socially distanced means but, 72 years ago, the distance that concerned Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers was that between racial groups in the United States. With a catalogue of hits behind them, they turned to ...

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Hairspray, London Coliseum review - brighter and more welcome than ever

A revival of a multi-award winning musical, with a big star or two, may look like a safe choice to re-open London’s largest theatre, the Coliseum, but there was a tingle of jeopardy in the air, exemplified when the show catches you by surprise...

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J'Ouvert, Harold Pinter Theatre review - formless yet fabulous

A welcome West End upgrade is the order of the day at J'Ouvert, the debut play from Yasmin Joseph whose 2019 premiere at South London's Theatre 503 additionally marked the directing debut of the actress Rebekah Murrell. And now here it is, all but...

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Out West, Lyric Hammersmith review – not quite a hat trick

It is an index of the ambition of some venues that they are not only reopening their doors, but also staging plays that remind us of the talents of our best writers and actors. Although the stage monologue has recently been almost as infectious as...

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